Extra support for students with special needs
Budget 2016 delivers extra support to students who need it most, Education Minister Hekia Parata says.
“In line with our strategy of directing extra funding to where it is most needed, we are putting an additional $42.1 million of operating funding over the next four years into services for students with special needs,” Ms Parata says.
“The extra funding will extend the personalised Intensive Wraparound Service for students with complex behavioural and learning needs, enable more students to access the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme, and increase teacher aide hours to support classroom teachers of students with high learning needs.
“In addition, we are investing $1.5 million operating funding over the next four years in specialised equipment and technology that will help students with special education needs to better access the curriculum, and to participate and learn in class.”
Ms Parata says additional funding for these students has increased 29 per cent since 2009.
The $8.9 million extension to the Intensive Wraparound Service over the next four years will increase the number of students receiving intensive, personalised support by 50, bringing it to 335 a year.
The $16.5 million increase in Ongoing Resourcing Scheme funding over the next four years means that from 2016/17 the number of students receiving specialist help, including speech therapy, additional teacher time and teacher aide hours, will rise from 8,335 to more than 8,600.
The extra $15.3 million for in-class teacher-aide hours over the next four years will enable 1,250 more students to benefit from teacher-aide support in classrooms.
“A strong education helps students become more independent and better able to participate in and contribute to the community,” Ms Parata says.
“This investment will help some of our most disadvantaged students.”